Sharing My REvolution March to Promote Fashion Revolution Day

“You have to get engaged or there is no hope [for the planet]”  Dame Vivienne Westwood ~ WOW Festival 2014


On 24th April 2013 1133 people were killed and over 2500 people were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Months later the catastrophes in our fashion supply chain continue. (On 9th October a fire in Dhaka killed at least nine).

Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough. Please mark 24 April 2014 in your diaries now. This is Fashion Revolution Day when industry leaders, factory workers, producers, campaigners, academics, press, consumers, cotton farmers – everyone we can think of – will come together to commemorate the first anniversary of the collapse, remember the victims of Rana Plaza and change our fashion future.

Fashion Revolution Day is an opportunity to celebrate fashion as a positive influence, raise awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues and show that change is possible. It will rally the high street, the high end, the innovators, the media, the public, the activists, the makers, the wearers – and everyone in between.


This year’s Fashion Revolution Day will simply ask, Who Made Your Clothes?

We want everybody to show their support for better connections and transparency across the fashion supply chain.

So our CALL TO ACTION on 24th April 2014 is for everyone to wear an item of clothing inside out, to take a picture and then post it, instagram, facebook and tweet it like crazy.


RUDE’s Karen has a Facebook group titled Marching Girls.  Marching was a popular sport when I was a young girl but not so much these days.  Marching Girls Facebook Group celebrates all things related to the sport of marching and more recently drilldancing.  The video in this post was made a few months ago to celebrate the group’s 200th member.  I thought it also creatively related in some ways to Fashion Revolution Day.  How?  It’s open to individual’s own interpretation.

For me it’s about the use of the song Revolution and not traditional 1/20 bpm marching music, a woman in her late 50s, in costume, doing something that’s not expected.  Finding a thrifted costume and knowing where the garments/accessories were made.  Then taking a video and posting it like crazy to engage and hope (as recommended by Dame Vivienne in the opening quote to this post)

RUDE (Karen) has organised a photo shoot with its local city newspaper.  She will be wearing her clothes inside out, and will be sending a selfie to Twitter at @RudeRecord and also to #insideout

Green Issues with Agy Interview

Skip Scavenging

This month, I was thrilled to be interviewed from Singapore by Agatha Lee from Green Issues at Agy [click on link in red above].  She was interested in finding out about Dumpster Diving.  RUDE shared its experiences of Skip Scavenging.  Agatha indicated that as far as she is aware this is an uncommon thing to do in her country.  I gathered it was something that would be frowned upon and probably illegal.

Pyjama Skirt

RUDE laments at the demise of the rummage around atmosphere of the charity shops that we knew and loved as children. These stores have become like traditional high street retail outlets. Merchandising is a big focus, management is paid and prices have hiked up.

To RUDE’s way of thinking charity shops are still a great way to save money and get something unique and oftentimes better quality. For over 45 years we have shopped in opportunity (thrift) shops. And we still do every now and then. These days however we prefer the free bin, outside a favourite charity store of ours.

A big part of RUDE’s frugal lifestyle is to avoid the lure of charity shop consumerism and REscue garments and fabrics from the point of landfill or the local tip shop. These are the clothes that the charity stores reject.

The great thing about RUDE’s Scavenger Style is that it is unique. We are not sourcing garments for this style from a middle man, such as a used textile merchant. We forgo the middle man and go and get our clothes directly from a landfill site. It’s dirty, dusty, messy and sometimes smelly at landfill. But boy, is it rewarding to be REscuing garments from landfill.

It is a humbling experience and makes you think about how wasteful society has become. Our signature Scavenger Style, is all about sourcing, cleaning, mending, REdesigning, REmaking, wearing and promoting, so that we literally walk the talk. Recycling old, worn and/or torn items is gratifying and it cost little or nothing. And finally you save a bucket load of money.

Scavenger Style does not require a lot of money, no money sometimes but what is required is time and a lot of it. Sourcing appropriate garments for our taste, age group and size is hit and miss. Cleaning and mending is labour intensive and then garments usually have to be stored until ready for REfashioning. Remaking clothes requires unique creative vision and skills.

The pyjama pants in this video had great potential and were REscued from landfill. An Australian size 22 is very large so there was lots of fabric to cut up and play with. The garment had ruche legs which was an interesting feature. The colour was appealing. Cost $0 as they were in the rubbish bin at the tip shop ready for dumping into landfill. HORREUR!

Beat the Man and Scavenge.

Twitter Thriftastic

A short blog post to let our followers know that I, Karen Ellis am now on Twitter.  Several requests have been made from some of you to get tweeting.  I have listened and have joined up today.  I am tweeting at #RudeRecord, so if this media suits you, love to have you follow my tweets and chirps.


Collage with photo cut out and newspaper ~ Karen Ellis

Dumped Duffle

The Duffle Coat featured in this video was saved from the point of landfill. Yes, the big dirt hole in the ground where our household rubbish is dumped. The coat was in reasonable condition but the sleeves’ hems were down and the two patch pockets were falling off.

This Duffle Coat with sleeves was too big for me. And the pockets were stitched too high up on the front panels for my long skinny arms.

I made a decision after the coat had an overnight stay in the freezer to felt it. I was then going to cut it up to make buntings and wool trivets. After felting, the coat shrunk slightly but it was still oversized. But I was getting the guilts about cutting it up and upcycling it into something else.

That’s when I remembered I had admired last season’s trend of the coat vest or gilet. With enthusiasm I went about cutting out the sleeves from the body of the coat. After trying it on minus its sleeves it was a REvelation in REcycling and REinvention. I was feeling rather smug that the REsult was actually quite stylish. Whether in fashion or not, for this forthcoming Australian winter, I do not care a bit. My REnewed duffle vest coat is like a snug blanket.

In the video you will see that I have made a few changes to make the coat a bit more colourful and contemporary.


Named for the Belgian town of Duffel where the thick, coarse, woollen material was originally sourced, traditional duffle coats will usually feature a hood with a button neck strap and tartan lining, a series of toggle fastenings made from wood attached to rope or leather, and two large pockets with flaps.

Sailors from the Royal Navy were the first to champion the duffle during WW11 mainly to keep their delicate bits from freezing off; the toggle enclosures could be unfastened while wearing thick gloves and the hoods were designed to fit over peeked navy caps. But while the duffle found its best endorsement in WW11 hero Field Marshal Montgomery, who was such a fiend for the coat that its alternative name is The Monty.

Sourced from Frankie Magazine Issue 46 pg 102

My Monty video has been mentioned by US Journalist and sustainable fashion writer Amy DuFault as follows:

For those who are interested here is Part 1 of the duffle coat REmake

Beat the Man and save money by REvamping quality clothes utilising your own sewing skills or those of a tailor/seamstress. Save the planet by keep woollen garments out of landfill as decomposing wool releases methane into the atmosphere.